New communications minister of South Africa, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has announced a withdrawal of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill. The proposed Bill sought to support the promotion of broadband coverage in SA, including a proposal for the establishment of a wholesale only network (WOAN). It contained a number of changes which could however lead to a dampening of the incentives of the mobile industry to invest, when 4G technology is still being rolled out, and 5G technology is being introduced.
Frontier Economics evaluated the economic impact of the proposed Bill and found that it would very likely slow down the migration to more advanced mobile technologies through a chilling effect on investment. A slower transition would lead to consumers facing higher prices, slower speeds and lower usage. This would reduce the benefits available to mobile consumers from 4G and 5G technologies and affect also the wider economy, as slower growth in the mobile industry will have indirect effects on GDP and employment.
Frontier regularly advises organisations and regulators across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East on regulatory, policy and competition issues in the telecommunications sector.
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